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tv   Andrea Mitchell Reports  MSNBC  March 26, 2013 10:00am-11:00am PDT

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right now on "andrea mitchell reports," defining molt -- the fight over gay marriage comes to the nation's capital. as the supreme court takes up the first of two cases that could redefine that institution in america.
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>> proposition 8 is a discriminatory law that hurts people. it's our hope that we can move forward and remove this harm from society so that gays and lesbians in california can go back to their life living equally alongside their neighbors with the same rights and protections as everyone else. >> i look forward to the day where i can be married to the person i love and start a family like chris and sandy have. it's as simple as that. it's our constitutional right and i cannot wait to start my family with jeff. >> we believe that proposition 8 is constitutional and that the place for the decision to be made regarding redefining marriage is with the people, not with the courts. >> we have complete coverage of today's proceedings with nbc justice correspondent, pete williams. human rights campaign president, chad griffin, who led the opposition of prop 8 in california. >> we have gone from the district court in northern california over the four years,
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all the way here to washington today before the united states supreme court. and we are all cautiously optimistic as we wait and see what this court will do. >> also joining us, austin mimics, could counsel for the legal team defending the ban against same-sex marriage and los angeles mayor, antonio via r villarigosa. good morning, i'm john cillizza, andrea mitchell is traveling today. nbc's justice correspondent, pete williams joins us from in front of the supreme court. pete, i can't think of anyone i would rather hear from. i know you were in the room talking about this. listening to the arguments, analyzing the arguments, tell us what we need to know out of what you heard today. >> right, you know there was a lot of talk before the case about whether this would be the
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roev wade of gay rights, with all the positives and negatives of that. it's quite clear now that it's not going to be. that the supreme court, there's very little interest among any of the justices for the kind of sweeping ruling that the two couple who is brought this case were asking for. to declare marriage such a fundamental right in a no state could deny it. so the court's not going to go there. the fall-back position is articulated by the obama justice department. maybe not that, but any state that grants all the privileges of marriage, domestic partnerships, civil unions but denies same-sex couples the privilege of calling it marriage, restricted tos that nine or so states, including california, and say that's unconstitutional. that got a raspberry from the supreme court today. nobody seemed very interested in that. many of the justices who would ordinarily be sympathetic to that argument said you're in essence punishing the states that are willing to give same-sex couples additional rights. you're now back to the question
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to whether the court can confine the decision to california. i think that's what's going to happen. let's hear a little bit of audio that the court has released of justice anthony kennedy, who was perhaps the swing vote here with his skepticism on what the two couples were asking for. >> the problem with the case is that you're really asking particularly because of the sociological evidence you cite for us to go into uncharted waters and you can play that with metaphor, there's a wonderful destination or a cliff. but you're doing so in a case where the opinion is very narrow. basically that once the state goes halfway, it has to go all the way or 70% of the way. and you're doing so in a case where there's, a substantial question on, on standing. i just wonder if the case was properly granted. >> now, standing means the question, the legal question of
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whether the proponents of prop 8 have the right to be here. to represent the state of california. that's a whole separate question. but it does seem likely that the supreme court will either say, you know what, we never should have taken this case in the first place. let's erase the appeals court ruling. we'll let the district court ruling stand. marriage can resume in california. or the court will find some way to say the prop 8 proponents never had a right to be here. the result would be the same. i think it's fair to say that marriage is going to resume in california because prop 8 will somehow be struck down. but the exact mechanism for that is not at all clear. in any event, chris, it seems quite likely it's not going to be any kind of sweeping ruling about same-sex marriage. it may end up not being about gay rights at all. >> and pete, i find that the oral arguments here, we're getting this stuff coming to us, moment by moment. we have a little bit of sound of chief justice john roberts talking about the labelling of
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marriage. let's play that and we'll come back and talk about it. >> if you tell a child that somebody has to be their friend, i suppose you can force the child to say this is my friend. but it changes the definition of what it means to be a friend. and that's, it seems to me, what supporters of proposition 8 are saying here. all you're interested in is the label and you insist on changing the definition of the label. >> pete -- >> go ahead. >> i was going to say that gets to the point here about whether, what's at stake in california if you give all the same legal privileges to same-sex couples as traditional couples have, everything but the privilege of using the word "marriage" what is the case all about? to proponents, it's everything. it's the legitimacy, it's the ability of their children to say our parents are married. it's the standing in the community. but as you hear justice roberts ask the question, it's like well, there really isn't that much difference. >> nbc chief justice
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correspondent, pete williams, i cannot think of anyone better i would want to have on, thank you for explaining it. >> the two california couples challenging prop 8 talked about the fight that led them all the way to the supreme court today. >> i believe in love. and proposition h is a discriminatory law that hurts people, it hurts gays, and lesbians in california and it hurts the children we're raising and it does so for no good reason. >> for the beginning the case has been about securing the right to marry the person that i love. and also having the equal access to the most important relationship that i know in life and that's marriage. >> and then there were the two high-profile lawyers, david boies on your left and ted olsen on your right, who were pros foes in the 2008 fight and are now allies in the fight for same-sex marriage. >> those of you in court today
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saw why i like it a lot better when this guy is on my side as opposed to against me. >> if you like me followed that amazing debate, that's a crazy image. david boies and ted olsen. chad griffin is the president of the human rights campaign and started the original appeal of proposition 8 that made it all the way to the supreme court today. chad, thanks for joining us. pete talked about some level of expectation with some folks this might be the gay marriage or the gay rights roe versus wade and he thinks based on what he heard today, we're more likely to go for a narrow ruling, maybe overturning prop 8 in california, but not broadly in the country. is that enough for you? >> i will leave it up to pundits and reporters like pete, to be able to read into what these justices, the questions that they ask at the end of the day, the justices ask tough, probing questions of both sides, that's what they're there to do. what i focus on is the
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incredible argument that ted olsen made before those justices and the case he made that by denying the couples, the fundamental right to marry the one that they love, it harms them greatly. and by the way, it also harms no one else by granting them that right. as i said in that courtroom, looking at those nine justices and listening to ted olsen articulate that argument. all i could do was think about those four plaintiffs in that courtroom and their families and the thousands of californians just like them. and those around this country. we always knew, chris, that this court has many options here. this court has many options. one would be the direction that, that pete articulated and another would be the case that we've made. and that there is a fundamental constitutional right to marriage, it's something guaranteed to all americans. so all we can do now is wait. and wait on the nine justices to render their opinions. >> chad, i want to ask you, it's television, so a brief retelling, the story of how you
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worked to get prop 8 with these plaintiffs, to get prop 8 to the supreme court. quickly retell that it's a fascinating back story. >> mosh than four years ago, when president obama was elected in that historic election. something terrible happened. in that in california, the hateful proposition 8 was passed by a slim majority of those voters. and i and some colleagues of mine, rob and michelle and christina shocky, someone mentioned that ted olsen might in fact share our view on marriage. i have to admit, chris, i was initially doubtful. but i began a series of conversations with ted and ultimately discovered that he believed in it personally. and he believed in it as a fundamental constitutional right. we filed the case with these four plaintiffs nearly four years ago and we won at federal district court. we won at the court of appeal, i'm optimistic of what will happen here. by bringing ted olsen and david
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boies together, two lawyers that were on the opposite sides of bush v gore it allowed us to lift the partisan veil that we always discussed in the issue of marriage equality and shined the spotlight on the human faces of suffering. the gay and lesbian families, the couples and their children. who suffered day in and day out. because they don't have the same right as their neighbors or colleagues at work or your friends at church. >> as a political junkie, i said it at the top of the segment, it's a remarkable image. let me ask you something tied to the politics of this. prop 8, 2008 approved narrowly. 52% of the vote. in california not exactly a conservative state. we've seen lots of gay marriage bans be approved. we've seen a handful of ballot initiatives allowing gay marriage in recent years, 2012 in maryland for example there were several. why not, this was an argument put forward by sam legal, that this is too new. let's let this go through the political process.
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the court doesn't need to lead on this i assume you you disagree with that sentiment. tell me why this shouldn't be left to the states. why same-sex marriage should be legal or not. >> this is an argument we have a heard throughout the nation's history. throughout the civil rights movement of the '50s and ' 0s. there were those that said slow down and there were those that said let states decide. ultimately the supreme court decided in 1967, in loving v virginia, that it was unconstitutional to prohibit a black woman from marrying a white man. and that took away those laws across this country. had we waited on states like mississippi to move, folks in those states might not have those rights. at the end of the day, our constitution guarantees equal protection under the law for every american citizen. regardless of what side of a state border one lives on. so that young kid growing up in arkansas, where i grew up. should not have to wait until his state finally moves and be
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at the whims of public opinion. that constitution protects him just like it protects everyone else in his family. and our job is not done, so every single person regardless of what side of a state border they live on truly has equal justice under the law. that's our cause and that's why we fight this fight. >> chad griffin, president of the human rights campaign. thank you. i know joining us on what is a very busy day for you. >> thank you, chris, thanks for having me. up next, los angeles mayor antonio villarigosa. we'll talk with a member of the legal team that was in the courtroom today this is "andrea mitchell reports" only on msnbc. did you know more coffee drinkers
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there is an immediate legal injury or legal what could be a legal injury. and that's the voice of the children. there's some 40,000 children in california, according to the red brief, that live with same-sex parents. and they want their parents to have full recognition and full status. the voice of those children is important in this case, don't you think? >> that was justice anthony kennedy, from just-released audio from today's supreme court hearings on california's proposition 8. joining me now is los angeles now is los angeles mayor, antonio villaraigosa. thank you for joining me, mr. mayor. i want to start with an amazing stat, this is where is all began, in 2008, proposition 8
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passed and that was to ban same-sex marriage in l.a. county, with 50.3% of the vote. how do you explain that? and would that happen today? well just as this issue is evolved among many of our political leaders, it's an issue that's involving with the electorate as well. and i think if you were to poll l.a. county in the state today, you would see that close to 60% of i think it's 58% of californians support same-sex marriage. so i think what justice kennedy said a few minutes ago, hits it right on the head this is about families, and if we value family, we should value all families. this is about the 40,000 children whose parents are living in a committed relationship. who ought to be married if they want to. and i think what i hope the
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supreme court will do, is rule in a broad way, that as they have 14 times, that marriage is a fundamental right, 14 times since 1888. that marriage is a fundamental right and if it's a fundamental right it ought to be afforded to all americans. >> and mr. mayor, you've long been on the side of support for same-sex marriage. many democrats -- >> since 1994. >> thank you. many democrats who have been in your party, however, have not been. we've seen claire mccaskill, senator from missouri, marge washinger, senator from virginia, these are all democrats who within the last 48 hours it looks like they're racing to beat these oral arguments, have said now i'm in support of same-sex marriage. does that bother you, as someone who has been on the case for almost 20 years? >> no, it doesn't bother me. these are issues that go to the heart of what people believe is right and wrong.
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and also, a reflection of their own values and i'm just excited to see so many people, both democrat and republican realizing that this is a fundamental right. that we shouldn't deny someone the right to marry and love who they want to love and bear families and celebrate families the way heterosexuals can, it doesn't bother me that people are evolving on the issue. we're evolving on a lot of issues over time. we evolved on the issue of civil rights and race, sex and national origin discrimination, religious discrimination as well. >> i want to talk to you about an issue, where the republican party is trying to -- near and dear to your heart. the president said yesterday, she expect as bill to be produced by the bipartisan group
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in the senate. he has largely prodded the proceedings along. is that the right approach by you or should the president at this point now roll up his sleeves and involve himself more heavily? >> it does go to my heart. it goes to my heart because it reflects the values that i think made this country great. it also goes to our pocketbook. there's a $1.5 trillion economic impact that comes with bringing these people from out of the dark and into the light. and that's why nearly 70% of americans support an earned pathway to citizenship. we've heard from the senate that they want to take control of this legislation, i heard one of your, one of the folks on your earlier show, speak to the fact that the president has been very strong on this issue. throughout the four years, and certainly since the election.
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but the senate, a group of 8 is working on this and i think they're making a lot of progress. i'm excited about that. i'm glad they're evolving, too. on the republican end. this shouldn't be a partisan issue any more than marriage equality should be. it should go to the heart of what our values are. of who we are as americans. and i hope on both issues, people will continue to evolve. >> mr. mayor, i'm going to hold you to a one or two-word answer, i want to get your opinion. path to citizenship, does it make it through an immigration bill. >> yes, it has to. if it doesn't, we shouldn't have a bill. it has to be a pathway to citizenship. >> mr. mayor, surprisingly brief. i appreciate that for a politician. thanks for joining us. >> thank you. up next in our daily fix, the politics of guns, a trio of republicans have now issued a new filibuster threat. and john kerry shows us his soccer skills.
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paul, ted cruz sending a letter to harry reid, the senate majority leader, threatening the possibility of a filibuster on gun control with people like oklahoma senator tom coburn saying the bill as it currently is, won't pass. does it feel like this -- what looked like real political momentum is fading as each day goes by, or am i misreading it? >> it's unclear this he didn't use the word filibuster in the letter, they said they were objecting the motion to proceed. it's unclear whether rand paul, in particular who caused such a sensation when he actually stood up and did an old-fashioned talking filibuster a few weeks back on the drone, on the administration's drone program. >> whether he's ready to do something like that in which case, gums things up and gives a lot of attention for his point of view. >> a huge amount of attention. there's a lot of news on the pro
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gun control side. you have president obama floating the possibility, may he goes out on the campaign trail. campaigns for some people. you have michael bloomberg, the mayor of new york city spending $12 million on ads in 13 states. but today, heidi hidecamp, north dakota senator, democrat, elected in 2012, a target of michael bloomberg's ad. here's what she tweeted. i wouldn't expect at my bloomberg to follow my advice on how to run new york city and i don't expect to follow his on how to run north dakota. is there an effect here? we see obama, bloomberg, can they move votes? >> all this talk of bloomberg's money and the amount of money he is putting into these ads, the fact is the nra wins these fights in that part of the country, not just because of their money, but because they are part of the culture. and i do think that there's a very good chance that all of this, i'm trying not to come up
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with you know, explodes in his face, but i don't know -- >> i can't see how voters in north dakota and arkansas say the mayor of new york city thinks we should do this. >> they're more likely to applaud their senator for standing up to the mayor of new york city. >> if you think the mark pryor and heidi heitcamp tweets came out of the blue. they think it will be good for them. >> the bill going in front of the senate as you said is a very scaled-back version of gun control and it's basically background checks. which are almost universally supported. >> this is what they think can pass. we shall see when they come back. thank you. >> thank you. up next, we'll hear from a member of the legal team defending proposition 8. plus, friend of the court. what's behind more than 100 republicans coming out in support of same-sex marriage? one of them, former mccain top
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strategist, nicole wallace, joins us next. >> i want to thank senator rob portman, a fellow cincinnatien, and a long-time friend of mine for his courage in supporting not only his son, but coming out in support of gay marriage. the first republican senator in the united states currently and it won't be the last. on a bayer aspirin regimen. [ male announcer ] be sure to talk to your doctor before you begin an aspirin regimen. go talk to your doctor. you're not indestructible anymore. woman: what do you mean, homeowners insurance doesn't cover floods? [ heart rate increases ] man: a few inches of water caused all this? [ heart rate increases ] woman #2: but i don't even live near the water. what you don't know about flood insurance may shock you -- including the fact that a preferred risk policy starts as low as $129 a year.
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they asked very probing and interesting questions of both sides. obviously they were prepared for the case and it's going to be a big decision. >> i want to play a little bit of sound of justice samuel alito talking about the relative newness of the idea of same-sex marriage. let's play that and we'll come back and talk about it. >> you want us to step in and render a decision based on an assessment based on the effects of this institution, which is newer than cell phones or the internet? we do not have the ability to see the future. >> how critical do you believe that is, moving forward? i know, i know you know better than i, handicapping what the supreme court will or won't do on any issue is difficult. how important do you believe that observation from justice alito will be as we move forward? it wasn't just an observation from justice alito. multiple justices asked questions along those lines and it highlights the fact that the supreme court is not a
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legislature. we have legislative bodies for a reason to deal with these hot-button social issues, that's why i the supreme court expressed skepticism. but we've been saying we don't need a 50-state mandate on same-sex marriage in the country. what we need the supreme court to do is let the american people deal with this through their state institutions. >> i do know that justice kennedy talked about the standing on whether your defendants had standing. do you have the right to bring this case? is that concerning for you, that the standing issue itself. it's not concerning for us at all. standing comes up on a regular basis in federal court and especially with the supreme court and also the california supreme court unanimously ruled that the proponents of proposition 8 have the legal right to defend proposition 8 and defend the interests of the state. making us really indistinguishable from the attorney general as it pertains to proposition 8. we feel confident about the
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standing question and are hopeful that the supreme court again will uphold the people's right to defend and protect marriage in their state laws. >> let me ask you one other thing. the politics on this, separate from the law. but on the politics front you've seen the massive shift in public opinion, in california and nationally. from opposition to gay marriage to support for it. how does that influence your argument to the court as well as what the court rules? the arguments, while they aren't decided by politics, they enter into a political atmosphere, no matter what's decided. >> i think it really, underscores the point that we're making is that the political process is working. >> the shifts in public opinion that exist in polls from one to the next, underscore the fact that americans are engaged in the debate and that's why we need to keep the debate with the american people and not have the supreme court remove it from the hands of the american people. the polls that matter on election day, californians have
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gone to the polls twice to vote on marriage in a nine-year period, those polls deserve respect. we're asking the supreme court to respect the opinions of californians in a poll on marriage. >> one of the lawyers for the defendants in the prop 8 case, thank you so much. despite strong conservative opposition to prop 8, there have been more than 100 former republican lawmakers and leaders in the party sho have signed an amicus brief calling for california's ban on same-sex marriage to be overturned. one of them is nicole wallace. let's talk about this. we've talked about the legal aspects of this. there's obviously a huge political piece to this. tell me why you decided to put your name on to that brief in support of same-sex marriage? we'll get into the politics in a minute. >> i am very proud to stand with 130 of a lot of my former colleagues from the bush
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administration and the bush white house and a lot of the lawyers and the legal thinkers who are able to embrace this conservative legal argument that was argued today, by ted olsen, a very respected legal mind on the right, who as you've been reporting all hour, partnered with david boies, to lay out and articulate the history of the court seeing marriage as a fundamental freedom. and of this issue being one, listening to someone left to defend prop 8, it reminds he of those who had to defend bans on interracial marriage in 1967, which was ultimately struck down by the supreme court. you look at where the supreme court has historically weighed in, and it's been on the side of freedom. so i think as a conservative, who reveres and cherishes the institution of marriage, it was natural for a lot of republicans, for myself and a lot of my former colleagues to
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see this brief as embracing a very conservative principle of marriage as so revered and so important and special that all families should have the right to raise their children in, raise their children, raise their families as married couples. >> nicole, you mentioned there were 130 signers other than you, people like tom ridge, ken duberstein, chief of staff during the reagan administration. these are named people, but i have a question for you. you mentioned, this is a conservative principle, this is about freedom. and yet the republican party platform is that marriage is between a man and a woman. will that change? i've been asking everybody this. i can't get away from the politics of it because it's a big political issue. will that change? in 2016, will one of the people running for the presidential nomination on the republican side, who has a chance to win be pro gay marriage, do you think? >> i don't know the answer to
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that. but you and i are probably only two of the people in the political in other words class who have covered political conventions, that's a lagging indicator but i think you will start to see republican politicians at a state and hopefully national level who really no one pays much attention to their stance on marriage equality. because it will over time become a nonissue. if you're running for office and you're trying to court the vote of anyone younger than 40, you oppose marriage equality at your political peril. the numbers for those who support marriage equality for anyone in their 30s, are 80%, i can't think of another 80% issue in our politics today. self-described evangelical politician describe numbers greater than 60%.
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you go to cpac and walk the halls, talk to anybody in their 20s or 30s, you can't find anybody who opposes marriage equality. this is an issue that the gretest blessing that the supreme court hearing today gave us as advocates for marriage quality and conservative advocates for marriage equality was the opportunity to speak in a sustained manner with the american people about the conservative principles that are entirely consistent with marriage equality. >> and yet, nicole, i just keep coming back, you mentioned cpac, this big gathers of conservatives, marco rubio, if not the biggest rising star in your party, certainly one of them. 42 years old, made a clear statement, look, i'm not going to apologize or be called a bigot for supporting marriage as between a man and a woman. do you need not someone who is out of office, not a christie todd whitman. not a tom ridge, do you need a marco rubio, a jeb bush, a john mccain? do you need someone of that level to say, look, i've held
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this position before, but it's outdated, i think it doesn't reflect where we are in america and it doesn't reflect conservative values, do you need someone in your party's leadership. a big name to do that in order to move the party? >> we need more people to evolve, which is what they call democrats who change their position on marriage equality. i think republicans are entitled to the same gentle term for a complete reversal. but let me say this party that can tolerate and embrace people with a disagreement around some of the really most sensitive and rapidly-changing social issues is usually the party that prevails. so it goes to my party's strength, it's under our umbrella, we can have a respectful debate and we can understand that people may come down on different sides of this one. but that while this debate is ongoing, while this debate is i think unfurling at warp speed, we as a party have room for
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people who have different views on marriage equality. people like me and people who, haven't evolved yet or, you know, in respect to people disagree. there is another side to this. there are people who disagree with the case we're making and i think it speaks to my party's strength if we can make room for both points of view in my party. >> the warp speed at which this has moved, has caught many democratic and republican politicians by surprise. we've gone in the last decade from majority opposition to majority support. which almost never happens. thank you for your time. >> thank you. live pictures out of los angeles, where nbc universal and comcast are hosting a hiring our heroes job fair. a nationwide effort to help veterans and military spouses find jobs, after meeting their goal of hiring 1,000 veterans, the parent company of msnbc is pledging to hire an additional 1,000 vets by 2015. up next, the personal side
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of the prop 8 debate.
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and without a line. now that's a fast car. it's just another way you'll be traveling at the speed of hertz. the court's ruling on prop 8 and the federal defense of marriage act will have a real immediate impact on same-sex couple across america. this couple was married in 2010 and their son was born on december 21st of last year, on christmas day they adopted hill. john is a communications directoror for senator harry reid. and kyle was there as a guest today. i'm fascinated, we've talked to a lot of people in the show who were in the room. tell me what it meant for you to be in there and what your take from the oral arguments were? >> i think for me it was first of all i'm certainly not a legal expert by any means. but it was really important for me to be in that room today.
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and very meaningful as a gay man. as a married gay man who has the sole right and i think it was something that i very passionate about gay marriage and the civil right of gay marriage and i want to see it extended to gay couples across the country. and so to be able to be there today was really an important moment for me, personally and for us as a couple. because we believe so strongly in it. >> and kyle and john, john, i want to hear from you. i want to play something that justice kagan had to say about same-sex marriage and what harm it could or could not do. let's play that and we'll come back and talk about it. >> what harm to the institution of marriage or to opposite-sex couples, how does this cause and effect work? >> well once again, i would reiterate that we don't believe that's the correct legal question before the court. and that the correct question is whether or not redefining marriage to include same-sex
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couples would advance the interests of marriage. john, what do you make of that case? that's obviously the defense regarding how you define marriage and harm done. what do you make of it? >> well chris, the whole thing is we're not looking to redefine marriage. we just want to be a part of it. kyle and i have been together for more than ten years now, we finally were able to marry two years ago. this is about making sure that other people in other states have the same opportunity that we have and the same rights that we have. and it's also about protecting our child who we now have and making sure that his rights are protected and that our rights are protected, no matter where we live. we're fortunate to live in the district of columbia, that allows for gay marriage if we need to move to another state for some reason, it's important to us to make sure that our family is protected. that's all we're talking about. if kyle has a car accident and i need to see him in the hospital, it's about protecting my right to be able to do that. there's plenty of place where is that's not allowed. >> john, i want to ask you, i know you've been through the political wars on a lot of
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issues. i want to ask you about the politics of this. folks say look, we should leave this up to the states. california can, if they want to have another ballot initiative, they're welcome to do so. that in places like maryland, same-sex marriage has succeeded at the ballot box, which it had not previous to 2012. why isn't that, i asked chad griffin that earlier. why isn't that acceptable argument to you, kyle and other gay couples in the country? >> because at the end of the day, it's all about fundamental rights. again just having the ability to have a family, to be a loving couple. to care for our son, to make sure that he's protected. in a way that any other family would want their rights to be protected. that's all we're talking about. is just basic equality. >> and i agree, i feel that in some states public opinion may lag behind perhaps. but it is about civil rights. and certainly i don't think that valid initiatives and people always are, while public opinion certainly changing, it isn't there in some places and that
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shouldn't be a deterrent to people being granted civil rights. >> i'll add that we've seen public opinion switch very rapidly on this issue. and i think it's time that the laws caught up with the culture. >> can i ask you both, i want to ask you if it's a personal question, but i think it goes to the heart of this. this is something that you guys mentioned you've been together mentioned you've been together for ♪ alright, let's go.
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so which political story will make headlines in the next 24 hours? karen tumulty is back with us. if you thought tomorrow was a big day with the supreme court, we're back at it. >> this is over the constitutionality of the federal defense of marriage act. when that act, today's arguments
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were whether gay marriage is essentially established as a right. when the defense of marriage act was signed by president clinton in 1996, gay marriage didn't exist. now it is legal in nine states. the question before the court will be, once people are married, does the government have the right to discriminate against that kind of marriage versus traditional heterosexual marriage? >> important distinction. prop 8 about people's right to get playered, doma about, what to do when they're married and can they get federal benefits. >> this is a case brought by a woman who was in a long term relationship with another woman. was married. when her partner died, was charged estate tax that she would not have been charged. >> thank you. >> thank you. >> that does it for this edition of "andrea mitchell reports." make sure you follow andrea's travels with secretary kerry.
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tamron hall has a look at what's next on "news nation." breaking news, we'll play the audio now and from the supreme court's nearly 90-minute arguments over california's ban on same sex marriage. pete williams is live outside the supreme court. plus the latest on what the white house is saying today. and we're following another developing story. a new jersey dad, father of five, expected to make a big announcement in about five minutes. he is claiming that winning lottery ticket. the largest lottery jackpot in history. plus, bill clinton jumped into the player's race in los angeles. but why? we're going to get the first read with nbc news political editor mark murray. it's all coming up next on "news nation." we're here with laura, talking about the walmart low price guarantee, backed by ad match. there's your price, walmart will match that right at the register. nice! i did not know they did that. wow! that's the walmart low price guarantee backed by ad match! save time and money. bring in ads from your local stores and see for yourself.
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